Now You See Me 2 review
Some very impressive card tricks by the adorable Jack Wilder. Photo source: Shaw Organisation
The first Now You See Me cruised under the radar without much pomp and fanfare. But like a magic trick, it surprised viewers with its entertaining thrills and spills.
Riding on the surprise success of the first movie, the filmmakers brought on David Copperfield as a co-producer and consultant for the sequel. They also signed on several celebrity big guns: Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter, show about magic, duh.) and Jay Chou (to reach out to the Asian market, obviously) to replace the pregnant Isla Fisher.
This just begs the question: “How shit was the storyline?!”
To answer that, we start with a brief recap: the first movie ended with the Four Horsemen, led by Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo), about to meet The Eye – a secret society of magicians that has existed since the ancient Egyptians.
Now You See Me 2 review
Lex Luthor awkward as always. Photo source: Shaw Organisation
In the second film, the band of brothers is still going strong. Illusionist J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg) is as egotistical as ever, mentalist Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson) still easy going, and light-fingered Jack Wilder (Dave Franco) still assumed dead by the public. Gore magician (her tricks involve mutilated limbs) Lula May (played by Lizzy Caplan from Masters of Sex) also joins the crew to provide the smart-mouthed comic relief every movie needs.
The story begins a year after their Robin Hood-type heist in the first movie. The team is sent on a new mission, another step to bring them closer to their much anticipated secret society. But as with all plans, this one fails horribly and sends them running straight into the arms of Walter Tressler (Daniel Radcliffe) and the start of their adventures. Somewhere in between, they run into Jay Chou, who plays a bit character, and solidifying his role as fodder to reach out to the Asian market.
Now You See Me 2 review
What you doing there Jay Chou? Clearly NOT doing magic. Photo source: Shaw Organisation
The plot is shoddy and predictable, but the magic tricks astonishing and impressive. What holds the film together is the multitude of magic shows lined up behind each other, with a good ole heist shoved in between. A heart-thumping soundtrack – key to holding the audience – brought an anticipative mood to the cinema as each trick played out.
Despite its less than stellar storyline, the show was ultimately entertaining, with enough magic tricks to prevent any lulls in dialogue. In fact, like all good magic tricks, the plot serves as a distraction for the real magic.
As a magic show, Now You See Me 2 gets four stars. As a movie, only three. No, two and a half. Half needs to be taken off for Daniel Radcliffe’s shite acting.
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